But what happens when they turn it on?

Giant Electromagnet Weighing 15 Tons Reaches New Home In Illinois After Long Journey (PHOTOS)

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. — It skipped tolls. It had a Twitter hashtag and a GPS tracker. It even posed for photos with groupies.…

Secret laws, secret courts, secret prisons; now, secret wars

Pentagon: Who We're At War With Is Classified

In a major national security speech this spring, President Obama said again and again that the U.S. is at war with “Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces.”

So who exactly are those associated forces? It’s a secret.

This is never going to freaking end, is it

News from The Associated Press

Sharing a birthday with the little prince

Why has this word not been banned?

Gawker -
An adorable baby zonkey (half zebra, half donkey) was born last week in Florence, Italy…
Also "pivot." "Pivot" is now officially the most teeth-grindingly annoying word in the entire English language (and for all I know in several others too). There is nothing freaking adorable about it.

OK then

OK then by Ted Compton
OK then, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.


You gotta hand it to that Putin guy…

U.S. will not seek death penalty for Snowden, attorney general says - CNN.com

The U.S. Justice Department will not seek the death penalty for U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote to Russian authorities in a letter dated July 23.

…he sure knows how to have a good time. Here we are, promising the feakin' Russians we'll be good. That's awesome, really.

But you wouldn't want those homeless homeowners (what?) getting greedy now, would you?

Wrongful Bank Foreclosure Has Not Led To Compensation For Victim

The Department of Justice and 40 state attorneys general announced a $25 billion settlement with five big banks last year over foreclosure fraud. Yet less than half of the funds meant to provide homeowners who had been improperly or illegally foreclosed on with relief had been dispersed as of October. Much of the money hasn’t even gone to helping homeowners at all.

Send him a case of it, Lincoln said

10 Classic Men, 10 Classic Drinks

The man who led the north to victory in the American Civil War had a distinctly Southern taste when it came to liquor, generally turning to Old Crow bourbon served neat.


The trouble with becoming a tea geek…

…I've become a tea geek in my dotage (isn't that a cool word? dotage?)…as I was saying, the trouble is my taste buds have gone all wonky. I bought a cup of coffee this morning and I can't decide what day it was brewed on. I'm going with Tuesday, but I could be off a day or two either way. There oughta be a law.

Hey, it's not even August yet

The Pessimist: "10 Summer Songs for Pessimists"


Ex-IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn Charged With Aggravated Pimping

That's got to be pretty, you know, aggravating. 

Lobsters like lobster too

Here Is a Video of One Lobster Eating Another Lobster | Mother Jones

"There are countless lobsters down there with nothing much to eat them and not much for them to eat, besides each other."

Ooops. Sorry. Spoil your lunch?


Two Masks
iPhone photo: Phil Compton

When everybody's in the same big bed

Keystone XL Scandal: Obama Attorney's Law Firm Represents TransCanada's Pipeline in Alaska | DeSmogBlog

DeSmogBlog investigation reveals that Robert Bauer, former White House Counsel and President Barack Obama's personal attorney, works at the corporate law firm Perkins Coie LLP, which does legal work for TransCanada's South Central LNG Project, formerly known as Alaska Gas Pipeline Project.…

And also…

Snowden’s… Defection? ← Joshua Foust

Snowden told reporters today that he has no desire to harm the U.S., and wants the country to “succeed,” whatever that means. I’m sure the White House is relieved to know a 30-year old IT worker has its best interests in mind as he preaches about human rights from one of the world’s worst human rights abusers.

this timeline, in case you're keeping score.

Personally, I think Carlos Danger would be a great name for a mayor and if he wants to move here I'll vote for him just on that

Anthony Weiner, ‘Carlos Danger’ become focus of New York mayoral race - The Washington Post
A gossip Web site revealed this week that New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s habit of exchanging sexually obscene communications with young women online continued after his resignation from Congress in 2011, and that he used the colorful pseudonym “Carlos Danger.”
I'm not so sure, though, about "whole grain." This morning at the grocery store it seemed like just about everything had "5 grams of whole grain" on its label. I'm beginning to think "whole grain" as an ingredient is fast approaching meaninglessness, like "oat bran" and "yogurt."

Although if they put the "whole grain" label on ice cream, I'll buy that.

Your mileage may vary [sic]

Old Conservatives Are Objectively Happier Than You — Atlantic Wire

If you would like to be happy, here are the two things you need to do. First, you need to be a conservative. And second, you need to be either just out of college or just starting retirement. Everyone else: You're on your own.

And we are concerned about this because…?*

Rep. Sanford Shows Up For House Vote In Sweaty Gym Clothes | TPM LiveWire

It seems no one gave freshman Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) the memo that Wednesday's House vote was moved an hour earlier than originally expected.

*It's a test of some updated blogging software.


Mostar -- A police officer in the Bosnian town of Neum died in an explosion while he was fishing in the sea, using dynamite.… 
No post mortem has been ordered - "considering it was visible that this was not a violent death, but an accident," the authorities announced.


Whoa, try hiding from this baby

Army’s Giant Surveillance Blimp to Start Tracking Objects in DC Region
From May 4 to June 14, Raytheon’s JLENS, or Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, was put through its paces by about 100 soldiers during user assessment tests out in Utah, but the company announced today that the 74-foot-high tethered airship is now headed to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland for a more ambitious operational assessment run by the US Northern Command.
Well, OK, try looking at the picture here.


Beats me

What's so important about the economy in Galesburg?

At first I was thinking movie rights, but now I'm thinking sitcom

Iran, belatedly, invites Snowden to visit, ‘elaborate’ on U.S. spying practices


Last Saturday, handfuls of people around the world celebrated the fourth annual “Swastika Rehabilitation Day…”

We will so put this on our calendar for next year.

Possibly the most uninformative (and unlikely) tweet in history (so far)

Oh we doubt that

Mother Jones:
The Segway Polo World Cup Is Everything You Imagined

"It's very big in Sweden."
So is lutefisk.

It does say "services," doesn't it?

The director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Alejandro Mayorkas, has been named a target in an investigation for his role in helping a company run by Clinton’s brother to secure an international investor visa…

But still a lot of fun, right?

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An out-of-control natural gas well off the Louisiana coast continued to burn Wednesday after it caught fire following a blowout that prompted the evacuation of 44 workers, authorities said.

Meanwhile, officials stressed that Tuesday’s blowout wouldn’t be close to as damaging as the 2010 BP oil spill…

The best worst Congress ever (or for a while, at least)

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls finds that in addition to setting new milestones for futility, Congress is also more hated than it's ever been. A full 83 percent of respondents say they disapprove of the job Congress is doing, the highest number for that question since the poll began tracking the number. (The last time it was even above 50 percent was in 2002.)
Atlantic Wire

Take your successes where you find them

Snowden goes to Russia

Boston Globe 
MOSCOW— Russian state news agency says US leaker Edward Snowden has been granted a document that allows him to leave the transit zone of a Moscow airport and enter Russia.
My advice: Stay out of church.

Nefarious doings

Hey kids! Learn to be “cyber smart” from the NSA’s youth page!
The "Kids Page," intended for elementary age children, appears to be down at the moment—either that, or the error code reference (Reference #97.887ffea5.1374616699.dc7bfc5) is an encoded message to grade school operatives that it's time to report in.
Ars Technica

[Pages will be enshrined on our work avoidance list.]


Americans are segregating by income more than ever before. Forty years ago, most cities (including Detroit) had a mixture of wealthy, middle-class, and poor residents. Now, each income group tends to lives separately, in its own city—with its own tax bases and philanthropies that support, at one extreme, excellent schools, resplendent parks, rapid-response security, efficient transportation, and other first-rate services; or, at the opposite extreme, terrible schools, dilapidated parks, high crime, and third-rate services.
Robert Reich in Guernica



Added to our Movies With No Kissing list: The Intouchables

[Noted by L C Dot]

We are shocked

Page One

Go ahead, tell us what you really think

Hightower: Charles Koch's Wonder World of Hairdressernomics
One thing I've come to value in the last couple of years is the altruism and keen economic insights of the fourth richest man in America: Charles Koch.…

It turns out he intends to "help" poor people by eliminating – ready? – "the minimum wage." Why? Because, explains this clueless son-of-the-rich, having a wage floor "reduces the mobility of labor."

Don't read this; it'll just give you a headache

How Protecting Your Privacy Could Make You the Bad Guy
There’s a funny [sic] catch-22 when it comes to privacy best practices. The very techniques that experts recommend to protect your privacy from government and commercial tracking could be at odds with the antiquated, vague Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

And they're not all Flipper

Researchers Find More Evidence That Dolphins Use Names
Combined with earlier findings, the results “present the first case of naming in mammals, providing a clear parallel between dolphin and human communication,” said biologist Stephanie King of Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, an author of the new study.

Is this the best sales pitch ever?

Our 8" floppy disk journal is a wonderful way to confuse teenagers.

Geek alert

Well, first it rained last night and got all cool for a change so I went back to bed and slept for an extra hour or two; second, Firefox. I've been playing around with it, inspired by a web site called PRISM-break (which I am not necessarily endorsing—it's just reminded me of some toys I haven't played with recently). Your mileage may vary, of course.

But this can't go on forever, right?


There'll always be an England

British news site offers ‘Republican’ option for readers sick of royal baby news
The Web site of the British newspaper The Guardian introduced a special option on the U.K. edition of its homepage Monday: a small toggle near the top of the page that allows readers to switch between “Royalist” and “Republican” modes, the latter of which removes all reference to English royalty and their familial expansion.

You may not want to read this


A lot of work to do

'Stand your ground' laws rattle US politics, society - CSMonitor.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures at least 21 states have laws similar to Florida’s (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia). Other tallies have put the number of such states closer to 30.

Burning the proverbial candle at both ends

Lebanese officials say CIA warned them of imminent al Qaida attack on Hezbollah | McClatchy
The unusual warning – U.S. government officials are barred from directly contacting Hezbollah, which the U.S. has designated an international terrorist organization – was passed from the CIA’s Beirut station chief to several Lebanese security and intelligence officials in a meeting late last week with the understanding that it would be passed to Hezbollah, Lebanese officials said.
(Or maybe that should be "both proverbial ends." Anyway. Is anybody minding this proverbial freaking store?)

(Also, does this mean Lebanon has to go live in the Moscow airport now?)


The US military employed 900 geese to guard military installations in West Germany in 1986...

Atlantic Wire

Tree Spirits
iPhone art: Phil Compton

Sounds about right

Marshals Lose Track of Encrypted Radios Worth Millions - WSJ.com
"It is apparent that negligence and incompetence has resulted in a grievous mismanagement of millions of dollars of USMS property," according to a 2011 presentation by the agency's Office of Strategic Technology. "Simply put, the entire system is broken…"

Me, I'm fine with the fatigue I have

3 Bad Habits Fit People Don't Have - ABC News
In a study published in Psychology Bulletin, researchers found that over 90 percent of people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue...


Feeding frenzy

Bankruptcy Lawyers See Land Of Opportunity In Detroit Crisis
July 21 (Reuters) - With more than $18 billion at stake in Detroit's restructuring, big law firms and other advisers are clamoring to represent the city's many creditors…
Who can lose?

Can you spell "chutzpah"?

The U.S. Army Drawdown in Afghanistan Is Being Obstructed by Customs Agents | Mother Jones
The Afghan government is demanding that the U.S. military pay $1,000 for each shipping container leaving the country that does not have a corresponding, validated customs form. The country’s customs agency says the American military has racked up $70 million in fines.

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. – Mark Twain


Hey, there's no law against this in Ohio

News from The Associated Press
With the survival of a species on the line, Cincinnati Zoo scientists are hoping to mate their lone female Sumatran rhino with her little brother.
Plus, there are not too many Sumatran rhino's brothers around.

It's a regular mermaid apocolypse in Florida

Video: FishHawk mermaid explains her fin passion after pool ban | Tampa Bay Times
She had been in the Aquatic Club pool with her tail once before with the staff's okay, she said, but last week, they told her it violated a policy against swim fins.

RE: The side your bread is buttered on

From the Christian Science Monitor (7/21/13):

Drones: FAA warns public not to shoot at unmanned aircraft

US Navy drops four unarmed bombs on Great Barrier Reef


NSA Revelations Could Provide Ideal Cover For Authoritarian Governments
In an interview with "The New York Times" on July 14, Ruslan Gattarov, a lawmaker in Russia's upper house of parliament, said, "We need to quickly put these huge transnational companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook under national control." He called the need for such steps "the lesson [Edward Snowden] taught us..."